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Boston Globe Reports Death Threat Its Own

This story was written by Staci D. Kramer.
Facing what it says are expected losses of $85 million this year, the New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT) is threatening to close the Boston Globe if unions don't agree to $20 million in cuts immediately, Globe">according to the Globe. The paper reports the threats came in a 90-minute meeting Thursday with executives from the paper, its parent company and the unions, just a few days after the most recent batch of layoffs took place at the paper.

Daniel Totten, president of the Boston Newspaper Guild, told the paper the suggested concessions, to be negotiated separately with each union, include pay cuts, an end to company pension contributions and the elimination of the lifetime job guarantee for some veteran employees. The Guild represents more than 700 employees across the newsroom and the business side of the paper.

NYTCo acquired the Globe and various assets for $1.1 billion in 1993, and as the NYT notes, it was lucrative for many years. But New England's economy started contracting even before the national recession; that plus the changes in classified advertising and other issues made the Globe the NYTCo's canary in the coal mine.

Losses mount: NYTCo execs told the unions the paper lost roughly $50 million last year and will lose $85 million this year without concessions. A "Globe employee" told the paper is asking for the concessions because it can longer subsidize the paper's losses. Hit by the ad slump and various charges, NYTCo lost $57.8 million in 2008 compared with $200 million in net profit in 2007.

More to come.

By Staci D. Kramer

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